Sunday, September 12, 2010

food and plants of the summer, in photos

For me, summer memories are marked by food; fresh produce, cooking dinner parties with friends, long summer nights of campfires and delicious desserts. Now that the nights are getting cold, I'm thinking back on my favorite moments of this summer!

Wild strawberry snack on a hike in the niagara escarpment.

At the beginning of summer, every room in the house was filled with peonies from my backyard.

Mmmm, rhubarb curd, which was made into some delicious rhubarb squares.

I finally got a microplane grater, a present from my lovely boyfriend! It makes lemon zesting and parmesan grating a breeze.

Lots and lots of beautiful plants. More to come!

butternut squash

I cut four hulking, creamy-coloured butternut squashes off their vines yesterday! Here's a delicious risotto for the end of the summer.

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp dried sage

6 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 white wine

olive oil, green onions and roasted squash seeds for garnish

Preheat oven to 375. Toss squash, olive oil, sage and thyme together in a baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender.

Meanwhile, in a pot, bring stock to a boil, then reduce to low heat, just enough to keep it hot.

In the largest skillet or pan you have, heat olive oil. Saute onions and garlic for a minute. Add rice, and cook for another minute, stirring constantly, until rice is coated in oil and looking toasty. Add wine, and stir until wine is absorbed.

Adding 1/2 stock at a time, continue stirring rice. Wait to add the next 1/2 cup until the stock has almost all been absorbed. Keep stirring and adding stock until you've used it all. It'll probably take around 30 minutes. Stir in butternut squash cubes, and serve! Garnish with green onions, a splash of olive oil and some roasted squash seeds.